Monday, 2 February 2015

Characterful Creature Creations with teachers at Bury Art Gallery

Today I have spent a most enjoyable day at Bury Museum and Art Gallery teaching CPD to teachers.
It was ace to be perfectly honest I love my job on days like these. The teachers who attended were great, open to ideas and suggestions and really lovely sharing their own ideas and even offering to fire works for other schools how great is that!

We looked at creating creatures in clay with two techniques thumb pots and slab techniques. My slabbed piece completely collapsed on my in the making and I was slightly mortified but all was good and just goes to show not everyday is a good day for the fingers. 
I didn't take in examples as I don't into schools as the students compare theirs to them and
sometimes it puts people off but may be I should of this time.
Hey ho. 

We started by looking around the King of the Cats exhibition briefly touching on the stories and how we funded the works and touring show through Arts Council, England and how the pieces were designed to stretch each artist taking them from their comfort zone and developing new techniques and new work. 

We then used charcoal to draw really quick sketches of what we would like to make and proceeded to create thumb pot animal heads.




Lunch was laid on by the gallery which we had to ourselves it was almost like we were in a sweet shop but we did behave and actually got back down to work really quickly. There were a mix of skills and needs in what can be achieved in clay with class size, abilities and time scales etc. From special needs to reception so techniques were shared from simple thumb pot ladybirds and bumble bees which could link to literacy through stories and also numeracy with counting spots, groups of various numbers etc.to more advanced techniques using slabs.




We looked at constructing head s and bodies using flat slabs, talked through basic equipment and how things can be made with simple DIY materials. We looked at wedging techniques for reclaiming clay as one of the teachers had a kiln which she offered to the other teachers which was a lovely gesture.
My demonstration showed how things can go wrong as it collapsed as I was pushing the clay from the inside out to create texture and form.

Queen of the Hares
Frog King
 
We also looked at colouring the clay using underglazes which can be painted on greenware. Building up colours and textures to add more character.



Building up colours, mixing and texturing the surface to create the illusion of fur. I have now taken the works to be dried and fired with a copper oxide to highlight the textures. Of course I will post pics of the finished pieces before returning them on the same day as our Q&A session on February 18th at the Art Gallery with the rest of the Arteach group.

the Fantastic Mr Fox

The day went too fast to create the bodies for the characters but good fun was had by all and hopefully inspiring new projects and clay works in the schools represented. I think we all went home happy after a really enjoyable day.


Even Dildrum the King of the Cats was happy as he tweeted about it too :-) 

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